You found this blog because you’re wondering, “Should you run your HVAC fan to reduce indoor allergens?” If you or someone you live with suffers from airborne allergies then there exists a never-ending battle to alleviate or suppress the symptoms. Plenty of tools exist to aid you in this war, but one you may have never considered is taking better control of the air circulation in your own home.
Fighting Pollen and Dander with HVAC systems
The first priority is making sure that your system is making things better rather than worse. It’s already an uphill battle to combat the pet dander, mold, dust mites, pollen and other indoor triggers. There is no need to make it harder on yourself by having filters that are out of date and unmaintained ductwork aggravating the issue rather than fixing it.
Unmaintained systems won’t just fail at filtering out air, but are perfect breeding grounds for even MORE issues, like mildew and mold. These aren’t just threats to health, they can also leave the house smelling musty and unpleasant. In order to maximize the use of an already existing HVAC system, the first and simplest priority is your filters. Consider investing in quality filters that are rated and designed to operate on the specific level of filtration you are requiring.
Optimizing Your Current HVAC System
When searching for such filters, apply the MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Recording Value). It ranges from one to twenty, with the highest numbers offering the highest levels of filtration. What most would consider high quality for a private residence would be between 14 to 16 on the scale. Anything higher than this would be stepping into HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) territory, which can be found anywhere from medical labs to your vacuum cleaner.
The choice is yours, but do your research when trying to determine a filter’s MERV rating. Don’t be fooled by “HEPA-type,” “HEPA-like,” “HEPA-style” or “99% HEPA”, it’s all nonsense unless their rating reflects the appropriate MERV rating! Further, HEPA filters may be problematic with centralized HVAC systems unless the system has been updated or fitted for such filters. Consulting with a technician can remedy this question quickly.
Maintaining Humidity within the Home
Depending on what part of the world you live in, you may need to balance the appropriate type of humidity in your home to alleviate allergies. In places like Florida you would likely need a dehumidifier to maintain that careful balance. On the flip-side, you’d need a humidifier in particularly dry places in the Southwest to keep the ideal environment for safety and health.
UV Lamps in Your HVAC System
If controlling allergies is an absolute priority, we can go steps further than those mentioned above. Installing UV lamps in conjunction with your HVAC system and adding redundant air purifiers to further improve air quality in the home is certainly possible. To most this would seem like overkill, however there are certainly cases in which such a response can be warranted.
Call Action Air for Indoor Air Quality Services
Provided you have a well-maintained HVAC system in place to handle allergy triggers, leaving your system on to reduce allergens will certainly help to continuously filter out pollen and dander; keeping your home safe and comfortable for everyone! If you have more questions about maintenance, optimization, or upgrading an HVAC system, give Action Air a call!